Natural capital constitutes a quarter of total wealth in low-income countries. For the poorest in these countries - notably those living in rural areas - soil, water, fisheries, forests and minerals are the principal sources of income. Thus, to achieve pro-poor economic growth, low-income countries should build on the natural resource assets of the poor.
This publication demonstrates that natural resources can contribute to growth, employment, exports and fiscal revenues. It highlights the importance of policies encouraging the sustainable management of these resources. Moreover, it emphasises the need to address the political challenges of natural resource management for long-term pro-poor economic growth.
It is divided into two parts: Part I provides an overview of the economics and politics of natural resources. It describes the unique features of natural resources and resulting management challenges, the role of sustainable natural resource management in supporting pro poor growth, and the politics and governance of natural resources. It then offers recommendations for policy makers on how to support the approaches advocated in the paper. Part II examines these issues with respect to seven specific natural resource sectors: fisheries, forests, wildlife and ecotourism, soil productivity, water security, minerals and renewable energy.
This report is published under the DAC Guidelines and Reference Series. It can be purchased via the OECD Online Bookshop, but can also be downloaded for free.